News Up Close With the Atari VCS, 'The Raspberry Pi for the Living Room'

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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I think this machine is pretty cool!

But 2020 release date, ouch. I'm not so sure the ultra-low-end (sorta already out-of-date since it's 1st-gen Zen) APUs are going to be a great value proposition at that point... Not that there's much better available on the market right now.
Their OS and user experience better be very easy and convenient, because I think anybody who is willing to put in work has many cheaper and/or more powerful options with a Pi or HTPC - and anybody who wants convenience will be able to find a PS4 or Xboxx for sub-$200 by then.

I hope this does well enough to get a second model once 7nm Embedded Ryzen/Navi makes it to market in (probably) 2021.
 
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bit_user

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But 2020 release date, ouch.
Agreed. I'm glad they at least updated the specs to use Zen + Vega!

I think the reason it's taking them so long is the software. I recall reading that they're trying to do their own online content distribution, so they don't only get revenue from the hardware sales. In light of that, I'm especially glad they're not trying to lock it down. This way, you can always install a standard distro and use Steam's Linux client, if their solution disappoints.

I think anybody who is willing to put in work has many cheaper and/or more powerful options with a Pi or HTPC - and anybody who wants convenience will be able to find a PS4 or Xboxx for sub-$200 by then.
This is tricky, but I think they've done alright.

In terms of value, they can't touch Pi. That battle was lost from the start.

In terms of performance, they're towards the low end of what people would consider for HTPC. However, their pricing is also at the low end of what you can spend on HTPC, and I think that's their play (besides the whole retro/nostalgia thing). From this perspective, a key weakness would be if their cooling solution is too loud - especially for simple tasks like streaming. That could be a big turn-off for HTPC-oriented buyers.

The biggest problem they face is selling what essentially promises to be a games console on hardware that's very weak for the task. Their 3-CU Vega cannot touch the GPU performance in even the base XBox One or PS4, much less the 40-CU Polaris-era GPU in XBox One X, nor the 36-CU GPU in PS4 Pro.

Their solution is fine for retro and most casual games, but they need to be especially careful with talk of 4k gaming. This can do 4k streaming, but its potential for 4k gaming stops once you get much above the complexity of Pac Man or Candy Crush.
 
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